"There's no retirement for an artist,
it's your way of living so there's no end to it."
~ Henry Moore
A sculptor that is very difficult to place into a category is Henry Spencer Moore. He began with early dreams of becoming a sculptor like his idol, Michelangelo Bunarroti. At the ripe old-age if sixteen, the son of a coal miner, he was hired as an art teacher in his hometown of
Castleford, England, like his favorite teacher, Miss. Alice Gostick. He left the school when he
was eighteen to fight in World War I. He was released from the military after being gassed at the Battle of Cambrai, in France.
Moore returned home to fulfill his dream of studying sculpture at the Leeds School of Art before transferring to the Royal
Academy of Art in London, England. All the while, he still attended Miss. Gostick’s pottery classes. In 1924 he began
to work at the Royal Academy before moving on to another London art institution, the Chelsea School of Art in 1932.
Moore gets into the Surrealist movement in 1933. His Surrealist
view of the abstracted human form became extremely recognizable. He was the first to introduce hollows into his sculpture.
“It is a mistake for a sculptor or a painter to speak or write very often about his job. It releases
tension needed for his work.”
There were time that Moore strayed from sculptural works. During
World War II, Moore was an official war artist. It was his job to draw the daily lives of the soldiers in the underground
bomb shelters. “I've always loved drawings…When you draw you look much more intensely at something.”
This was his only focus for four years. His are became known and respected. The only problem was that people lived the drawings
and generally disliked his sculptures. “All art should have a certain mystery and should make demands
on the spectator. Giving a sculpture or a drawing too explicit a title takes away part of that mystery so that the spectator
moves on to the next object, making no effort to ponder the meaning of what he has just seen. Everyone thinks that he or she
looks but they don't really, you know.”
The attitude of his worked would change from dislike in the 1930s
to favor in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. His work was proudly displayed all over the world. By the end of his career, he had created
919 sculptures, 5500 drawings and 717 graphics. All were in high demand. “The secret of life is
to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the
rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do.” Moore died
at the age of eighty-eight.